Stop. Reflect.

I often say I’m a woman of action. But truth is, I’m just as much a woman of reflection (which you would probably have guessed as a reader of this blog…). Life’s pace is so fast, it’s important to stop and reflect, in order to rejuvenate and learn.

BookI’m currently reading an interesting book called Resonant Leadership by Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee, and I came across this thought-provoking line which I believe has hit it right on the nail:

“… many organizational cultures (maybe even society today) drive people to action, rather than reflection, which means that real listening is actually quite rare.”

It goes on to say that reflection helps develop self-control which is key to managing the level of stress inherent in leadership positions (and more generally, in today’s society).

Being able to find a corner of peace in our mind and reflect, whether that be through meditation, walking in nature, spiritual practice, writing a journal or listening to music, can lead to greater self-awareness and mindfulness. For me, running, exploring nature and most particularly writing this blog are the three most conducive places to recovering a quiet frame of mind and reflecting on myself, my surroundings and others.

What about you? Do you have a ‘quiet place’ – physical or mental – you go to to reconnect with your feelings and thoughts? To practice mindfulness, reflection and self-awareness, Boyatzis and McKee suggest the exercise ‘Name that feeling’, which goes as is:

“Three times a day for a week, stop what you are doing, close your eyes and concentrate on how you are feeling. Put a word to the feeling or feelings you are experiencing. [I find putting my hands on my tummy can help assess my ‘gut feeling’…] Do not analyze, just name. At first, this might take as long as five minutes, and you might notice that the words you choose to name your feelings are simple, not nuanced. […] As you practice, however, you will find that you are able to name your feelings much more quickly and with more accuracy.”

I challenge you to try the exercise and share your thoughts here with us. I certainly will.

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